The first and only female officer with the Jackson, Ohio Police Department retired on Wednesday.
“I’m excited about getting to wear my hair down. Not having to wear a uniform and these ugly shoes.”
It’s a day 35 years in the making for Assistant Chief Maria Uribe.
“It’s bittersweet. “
Uribe started as a meter maid in 1984.
“They decided if they had to have a female officer they wanted it to be me. So I went to training and within a year’s time I was sworn in.”
Uribe worked her way up through the years becoming a sergeant then eventually assistant chief. She tells us there was some hesitation from the men on the squad back then and criticism from their wives.
“The newbie had to do midnight shifts and they weren’t comfortable with me riding around with their husbands all night long so that was difficult.”
And then there was the stigma associated with being a police woman in a policeman’s world.
“I never felt like I could call for backup, because I thought it would be seen as a sign of weakness.“
With Uribe’s departure there are no longer any female officers on staff, something she hopes changes soon, and she has a message for any young girls.
“You can do this. The job is tough but so are you.“